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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Rosneft Posts Healthy Profit

Rosneft posted an unexpected increase in fourth-quarter profit Tuesday after it consolidated 12 units and reported deferred income tax.

Net income advanced 6.2 percent to $600 million from $565 million in the year-earlier period, the state-run company said on its web site.

Rosneft had a loss before taxation of $126 million, as production costs and export taxes rose and the ruble gained against the dollar. Operating income fell 52 percent to $470 million, below the $600 million analyst estimate. (Bloomberg)

Sibir Buys Eight Deposits

LONDON -- Sibir Energy, a Britain-based company that extracts oil in Russia, completed the purchase of eight oil deposits in western Siberia for $50 million after the government approved the acquisition.

The oil company received permission from the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service to complete the transaction, Sibir said Tuesday in a statement.

The so-called Koltagorsky Blocks hold 970 million barrels of estimated oil resources in the Khanty-Mansiisk region, the company said. (Bloomberg)

EU Trade Deficit Expands

BRUSSELS -- Europe's trade deficit with Russia, the European Union's third-largest trading partner, increased by two-thirds since the start of the decade on a more than doubling of energy imports.

The EU's deficit with Russia totaled 68.2 billion euros ($92.31 billion) last year, up from 41 billion euros in 2000, Eurostat, the EU's statistics office in Luxembourg, said Tuesday in a report. (Bloomberg)

UES Will Boost Network

Unified Energy Systems plans to build three high-voltage power lines in Siberia as it overhauls the regional network, CEO Anatoly Chubais said Tuesday.

The project will cost 41 billion rubles ($1.6 billion), Chubais said. An application for 21 billion rubles from the state investment fund has already been made, he said. (Bloomberg)

SUEK, Gazprom Merger

The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service will approve a merger between Gazprom and coal firm SUEK if the operation is endorsed by the government, the service's head Igor Artemyev said Tuesday, Interfax reported.

"Our position is known, but if the government decides the merger is practical, then we will have to … submit to its decision," Artemyev said.

Russian media reported in late February that the anti-monopoly service would attempt to stop Gazprom from buying SUEK over fear that the deal would enable the gas company to monopolize the energy sector. (MT)

Coal Exports Seen Strong

Coal-export demand from Russia will remain "strong" and domestic demand may improve as gas prices increase, said Geoff Crocker, adviser to SUEK's president.

"The export market will stay strong for us and the domestic market has growth characteristics," Crocker said Tuesday at a conference in Nice, France, organized by British publishing company McCloskey Group. (Bloomberg)

Congestion Charge Mulled

Motorists may soon be charged to drive into the center of Moscow, according to plans unveiled Tuesday by Mayor Yury Luzhkov, reported.

Speaking at a city government meeting, Luzhkov said officials might soon be forced to impose congestion charges for those driving into the city center, entering the Third Ring and passing through the outer boundaries of the city. The measures would be key to alleviating the traffic problems afflicting the capital and would be accompanied by extensive development of the city's transport and road network, Luzhkov said. (MT)

Alfa Withdraws Candidate

HELSINKI -- Telenor, Norway's largest telephone company, said Alfa Group withdrew one candidate for VimpelCom's board, complying with an arbitration tribunal ruling.

The Geneva-based tribunal required Alfa to keep the number of candidates at four and withdraw other nominees by May 14, Telenor said late Monday. (Bloomberg)

Sedmoi Plans Growth

Sedmoi Kontinent plans to open 50 hypermarkets in Russia and Belarus and double its current number of supermarkets by 2010, said the retailer's CEO, Galina Ilyashenko, the Prime-Tass news agency reported Tuesday.

Sedmoi Kontinent currently runs 123 stores in Moscow and the Moscow region, one store in St. Petersburg, 11 in the Kaliningrad region, and one store in Minsk. (MT)

Bans Cost Georgia $100M

LONDON -- Russian trade sanctions against Georgia cost the former Soviet Republic $100 million in 2006, Agence France Presse reported Tuesday, citing the Central Bank of Georgia.

Georgia lost $50 million after Russia imposed a ban on importing its wines in March 2006, while it lost $13 million due to a ban on Borzhomi mineral water, AFP said, citing the bank report. (Bloomberg)

Domodedovo Traffic Rises

Domodedovo International Airport handled 18 percent more passengers in the first four months of 2007 than one year earlier as both domestic and international travel increased.

The airport served 4.6 million passengers from January to April, the operating company said Tuesday. International traffic increased 27 percent to 2.6 million passengers, and traffic within Russia gained 8.7 percent to 2 million travelers, it said. (Bloomberg)

Russian Sea Plans IPO

Russian Sea Group plans to hold the country's first initial public offering by a seafood producer, Kommersant reported Tuesday, citing the company.

The IPO is tentatively slated for 2009, the newspaper said. Russian Sea is run by Maxim Vorobyov, whose brother Andrei founded the company and now heads the central committee of United Russia, Kommersant said. (Bloomberg)

Mat-Minerals to Build Plant

The foundation stone was laid Tuesday for a construction materials factory at a ceremony in Uchaly, Bashkortostan, Interfax reported.

The construction project, which will cost 18 billion rubles ($700 million) to complete, will be carried out by Czech firm Mat-Minerals and the Czech Export Bank, the agency reported. (MT)

Kazakhs Plans to Up Deficit

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Kazakhstan, the second-biggest energy producer in the former Soviet Union, plans to increase spending to a revised 2.36 trillion tenge ($19.8 billion) this year, resulting in a budget deficit equal to 2.2 percent of gross domestic product.

The deficit is planned to grow by 126 billion tenge to 271.2 billion this year, said a report Tuesday on the government web site. (Bloomberg)